Al-Azhar's Vigorous role in Supporting “Al-Aqsa Flood”

By Dr. Muhammad Ahmed Azab February 22, 2024 2507

Social institutions in any civilization are essential sources from which they derive their values. No civilization can go without these institutions, regardless of their position in the historical timeline. These institutions take various forms depending on the environment in which they develop and their position in the timeline of civilization.

Al-Azhar is considered one of the most important religious institutions that emerged in Islamic civilization. The Fatimids built Al-Azhar to serve their Shia ideology, but Allah destined it to be the opposite of what they intended. It became a beacon for knowledge seekers from all places, learning according to the methodology of the Sunni tradition.

Al-Azhar adopted a policy of integration rather than conflict. It was not known to compete with institutions serving the Ummah but rather to collaborate with them. Its scholars and active figures have never sought to compete with institutions in the Islamic world or belittle them.

 

Al-Azhar has continued to nurture its students to carry the burdens of the Ummah, generation after generation

On the morning of October 7, 2023, the “Al-Qassam Brigades” announced the beginning of the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation. It was the first time initiating a surprise against the Zionist enemy in the occupied territories, for it had gotten accustomed to initiating its criminal wars whenever it wanted. Within a few hours, Zionist hostages were being led like a herd. The mujahideen (fighters), in their military operation, didn't forget to inject a touch of humor. This made discussions about the spoils of war a topic on social media, where commentators marveled at the unconventional approach, turning captured armored vehicles into cars roaming the streets of Gaza and broadcasting through loudspeakers about buying old scrap.

In the aftermath of announcing victory, reactions were bound to follow, with the inevitable question: What comes next? Everyone was aware of the Zionists' atrocities and their terrorist origins according to their dehumanizing ideology that has been promoted by their religious leaders, justifying the annihilation of whoever came in their way: “The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks, and goods as plunder. They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps.” (1) and “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.” (2)

Everyone knew that the enemy would act like a rabid dog, focused solely on killing and unleashing their criminal machinery. Al-Azhar had to speak to the people, clearing its stance against an enemy deeply rooted in the heart of the Ummah, supported by the forces of tyranny around the world.

 Al-Azhar Against Aggression

For a long time, the enemy has known the sources of strength within the Ummah institutions, nourishing the nation and its individuals with elements of resilience and strength while urging them to constantly advocate for their causes.

 Al-Azhar scholars prohibited visiting Jerusalem under Zionist occupation

“Napoleon” came to Egypt and inserted his corrupted soldiers into Al-Azhar Mosque, both mounted and on foot. They scattered in its courtyard and chambers, even tying their horses to its Mihrab. (3) The scholars and students of Al-Azhar from Egypt and beyond showed fierce resistance against the invasion, leading to the killing of “Kleber,” the French ruler, by Suleiman al-Halabi, a Syrian student of Al-Azhar.

Al-Azhar continued to nurture its students to carry the burdens of the nation generation after generation. When faced with the Zionist enemy, Al-Azhar's scholars consistently expressed their opposition to its existence and corrupt actions. A fatwa (religious ruling) by Sheikh Hassan Mamoun stated that the actions of the Jews in Palestine, violating an Islamic land, require its people to resist forcefully against them, as well as each Muslim in all Islamic countries. (4)

Furthermore, Al-Azhar scholars prohibited visiting Jerusalem under Zionist occupation. Sheikh Abd al-Halim Mahmud refused to accompany President Anwar el-Sadat on a visit to Jerusalem, and scholars like Sheikh Gad al-Haq, Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy, and Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb issued fatwas stating that whoever visits Jerusalem under Zionist occupation is a sinner.

On October 7th, Al-Azhar did not stand still waiting for orders; instead, it seized the opportunity, issuing a statement addressing Muslim communities and the world, reminding everyone of the Palestinian cause and the vile occupation. “Al-Azhar offers its condolences to the silent world for the innocent victims of Palestine, proudly commending the efforts of the Palestinian people… The occupation is a stigma on the forehead of humanity and the international community, which applies double standards.”

 Exempting Palestinian students from fees and providing special care for them

The most important point in Al-Azhar's statement was, “The longest occupation known to modern history is the Zionist occupation of Palestine.” Al-Azhar did not fall into the error of using the name the entity gave itself, a title associated with one of Allah's prophets, indicating that it does not exist. It clarified that it has no right to any part of the land of Palestine, emphasizing that it is a Zionist racist occupation with no connection whatsoever to its false claim of the “Promised Land.”

 Spreading Hope

Al-Azhar, then, concluded its statement by spreading hope, “Every occupation is bound to vanish, sooner or later, regardless of its duration.” The statement praised the mujahideen, saying, “Al-Azhar stands steadfast in full support of the free people of Palestine who have come to revive our confidence in ourselves, praying to Allah to assist them with divine sources of patience, resilience, strength, and comfort.”

Also, a statement from the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, on October 28, 2023, stated: “History will not forgive those who faltered in defending the innocent Palestinians, and those who supported the continuation of this Zionist terrorism.” This was a message to the regimes that failed to provide support and solidarity.

The Sheikh, representing Al-Azhar, did not miss the international organizations' meeting at the Climate Conference in December 2023 to address the Zionist terrorism, stating: “This is a stunned human cry from the terror of the infernal killing machine operated by those heartless on innocent citizens, women, men, children, infants, and newborns.”

 Missing no occasions without pointing out the practices of Zionist terrorism

On the humanitarian side, Al-Azhar made a decision to exempt Palestinian students from fees and provide special care for them.

Then, Al-Azhar's publications, representing its voice did not stop solidifying its stance of solidarity with the “Al-Aqsa Flood” battle.

Some may ask: What is the benefit of issuing statements and giving fatwas if they have no impact or influence? This sentiment is similar to those who mock leaders overseeing the battle from a distance, thinking they sit in safety while leaving the frontlines to the fighters!

This is a misunderstanding of battle management, which involves various means. While weapons are crucial, they alone do not determine the outcome of a battle. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Satirize against the (non-believing amongst the) Quraish, for (the satire) is more grievous to them than the hurt of an arrow.” (6) Battles have countless means of management, starting from the call to arms and ending at the barrel of a cannon. Everything plays a role, from the spoken word to the launch of a rocket.

 

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(1) “Book of Numbers,” (31:9).

(2) “Book of Deuteronomy,” (20:16).

(3) “Tarikh 'Aja'ib al-Athar fi al-tarajim wa al-akhbar,” (2/220).

(4) Fatwa issued on January 8, 1956, with the reference number (1114).

(5) https://2u.pw/jCIouU1.

(6) “Al-Mu'jam al-Kabir,” (4/38)


Read the Article in Arabic

Last modified on Thursday, 22 February 2024 12:37